Scientific interview-
frequently asked questions at the dermatologist’s clinic

Answered by Dr. Christina Schnopp

Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Allergology, TU Munich

When should I apply cream? Which cream should I use for (diaper change, outings, after bathing)?

General recommendations on applying cream are difficult to make as most children don’t need regular application. However, in children with dry skin, regular application of cream can improve the skin’s barrier function. An American pilot study even indicates that in genetically disadvantaged children, it can reduce the risk of neurodermatitis1.

Aside from this, applying skin cream can be advantageous in very dry air (due to heating in winter), after frequent bathing, or on particularly afflicted areas (around the mouth, hands).

Independent of the skin type, the face should be protected from low temperatures by using a very fatty cream.

If other protection methods (staying out of the sun, protection by clothing) are not possible or sufficient, then a sun cream should be used.

A protective cream for the diaper area often helps to prevent worse case scenarios if they are applied at the first signs of irritation. Some parents swear by a regular application of protective cream to avoid inflammation occurring in the first place.

1) Simpson EL, Berry TM, Brown PA et al. A pilot study of emollient therapy for the primary prevention of atopic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2010; 63: 587-93.